Rosenberg, Petey : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Rosenberg, Petey

Alexander Rosenberg

While serving in the army during World War II, Rosenberg recommended a relatively unknown player named Joe Fulks to Philadelphia Warriors coach Eddie Gottlieb. With Fulks leading the league in scoring (23.2 points per game), Gottlieb's Warriors (with Rosenberg as a member) won the first-ever NBA championship in 1947.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. April 7, 1918 - d. 1997

Career Highlights:
Rosenberg was a marvelous scorer during his professional career after playing at St. Joseph's (Pennsylvania) in the late 1930s. In his first pro season (1938-39), he joined the Philadelphia Sphas (the nickname stood for the South Philadelphia Hebrew Association) of the American Basketball League. The Sphas began as a barnstorming team but had dominated the ABL since they joined the league in 1933 (they won three of the last four ABL championships). That year, Rosenberg played in 33 games and scored 237 points (first on the team and eighth in the league) as the Sphas finished 24-9 and lost in the playoffs to the New York Jewels.

In 1939-40, Rosenberg finished ninth in the league in scoring with 202 points (6.7 average) as the Sphas won the league championship with a 20-13 regular season record and then won a round-robin playoff. The following year (1940-41), Rosenberg played even better as he led the league in scoring with 275 points (8.9 average) and the Sphas repeated as ABL champions (it was their fifth title in eight years). After an off-year in 1941-42 when they finished 13-14 (Rosenberg played in only 14 games), the Sphas rebounded in 1942-43 by winning the ABL championship in a seven-game playoff with the Trenton Tigers.

Rosenberg played in only 11 games during the 1942-43 championship season and then played only four games over the next two seasons while serving in the army (the Sphas won another title in 1945, the last one in team history). His final season in the ABL was in 1945-46; he played in 12 games and averaged 5.7 points per game, but the Sphas lost in the championship to the Baltimore Bullets. The Basketball Association of America was formed in 1946 and Rosenberg joined Eddie Gottlieb's Philadelphia Warriors of the newly formed league (Gottlieb was also the founder, owner, and former coach of the Sphas). The BAA merged with the National Basketball League (NBL) in 1949 and changed its name to the NBA.

In the NBA's inaugural season, Rosenberg played in 51 games, scored 150 points, and had 22 assists as the Warriors finished second in the Eastern Division with a record of 35-25. In the playoffs, Rosenberg played in 9 games as the Warriors defeated St. Louis (2-1), New York (2-0), and the Max Zaslofsky-led Chicago Stags (4-1) to win the first-ever NBA championship.

Rosenberg is a member of the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, the Philadelphia Basketball Hall of Fame, and the Delaware County Hall of Fame.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Career Dates:
Rosenberg played college basketball at St. Joseph's University in 1937-38. He then played professionally in the ABL for the Philadelphia Sphas from 1938-1946, and in the NBA (BAA) with the Philadelphia Warriors in 1946-47.

Physical description:
5'10", 165 pounds

Career Statistics:
In the NBA:
Games: 51
Points: 150
Points Per Game: 2.9

Field Goals Made: 60
Field Goals Attempted: 287
Field Goal Percentage: .209

Free Throws Made: 30
Free Throws Attempted: 49
Free Throw Percentage: .612

Rebounds: not available
Assists: 27
Assists Per Game: 0.5
Personal Fouls: 64

NBA playoffs:
Games: 9
Points: 2
Points Per Game: 0.2

Field Goals Made: 1
Field Goals Attempted: 12
Field Goal Percentage: .083

Free Throws Made: 0
Free Throws Attempted: 3
Free Throw Percentage: 0.000

Rebounds: not available
Assists: 3
Assists Per Game: 0.3
Personal Fouls: 4

Use links below to navigate through the basketball section of Jews In Sports.

< PreviousNext >

encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)
The Official NBA Encyclopedia: Third Edition, edited by Jan Hubbard (New York: Doubleday, 2000)